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Ratlines by Stuart Neville


by Stuart Neville

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1961785,074 (3.8)13



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Interesting novel built around the real presence of Nazi Otto Skozeny in Ireland during the 1960s and his links with Charles Haughey. ( )
  edwardsgt | Dec 28, 2016 |
Ratlines is a historical-fiction novel based in the early 1960s preceding a visit to Ireland by US President Kennedy. There's one 'real' character, an ex-Nazi big-shooter (Otto Skorzeny) who's spending his post-war years in Ireland, and a bunch of fictional characters and situations. The plot is pretty tricky: someone is assassinating ex-Nazis living in Ireland, Skorzeny receives a threat from whomever is doing the killing, and the Irish police are interested in both stopping the killings and keeping them quiet so as not to interfere with JFK's visit. An inspector is selected to investigate and is quickly mired in political and romantic intrigue that both hinders and helps his progress.

The plot is solid but the characters are a little too one-dimensional. For example, Skorzeny is portrayed as the epitome of evil and the ultimate puppet master, but very little else is expressed about him that could help readers understand his motivations. The writing is very straightforward, not quite up to the standards of the Belfast novels in Neville's catalog, but perfectly acceptable for this type of book. The conclusion was a bit 'out there', but things were wrapped up nicely at the end.

I can certainly recommend Ratlines, particularly if you have an interest in historical novels and where ex-Nazi officers ended up after the war (and how they got there). ( )
  gmmartz | Nov 23, 2016 |
It is often a hard sell when an author weaves real people into a fiction story that took place in the past. In this case however it worked. The book also filled in some historical ignorance I had regarding Ireland, its position during WWII, and how they allowed a number of Nazi's to settle there after the war. ( )
  zmagic69 | Mar 31, 2016 |
This must have been just me, everyone else seems to love it. Might have been because it was an audio book and you can't just flick back to check who is who or something else that has passed you by. I hardly ever give up on a book so I am deeply ashamed.... *sniff
  jan.fleming | Feb 9, 2015 |
Once again, I went to an area of writing — mysteries and crime writing — that I avoid. Once again, I was left finishing a book and wondering why I read to the end. I jumped in because of heaps of praise from professional reviewers, bloggers, and friends. Oh, and the fact that it had Nazis, love to read about those evil Nazis. I finished it, but I wasn't turning those page quickly, and I wasn't searching for answers and conclusions.

The style is very sparse and the writing and plotline didn't take me much of anywhere.

- signed someone UNMOVED and ONE WHO DID NOT GET IT ... me bad? ( )
1 vote jphamilton | Jul 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
added by ozzer | editBoston Globe, Clea Simon (Jan 10, 2013)
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War-battered dogs are we,
Gnawing a naked bone,
Fighting in every land and clime,
For every cause but our own.

President John F. Kennedy
Wexford, Ireland, 27th June 1963
For Isabel and Emerald Neville
First words
"You don't look like a Jew," Helmut Krauss said to the man reflected in the window pain.
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Disambiguation notice
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Investigating the murders of three German nationals, Lieutenant Albert Ryan, Directorate of Intelligence in 1963 Ireland, finds his loyalties tested after being ordered by the Minister of Justice to hide the truth about the victims' Nazi pasts.

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